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3c. Candidates’ Development and Demonstration of Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions to Help All Students Learn

3c.1.      Describe the proposed roles for candidates, university/agency supervisors, and school-based faculty in assessing candidate performance and reviewing the results during clinical practice.

The university supervisor, partner school-based faculty, and teacher candidate each has a role in assessing the teacher candidate’s performance and reviewing the results during clinical practice.  The Student Teaching Handbook clearly delineates each party’s role and responsibility.  Roles for teacher candidates, university supervisors, and school-based faculty in assessing candidate performance and reviewing the results during clinical practice can be found in the following table:

Roles for the Teacher Candidate, University Supervisor, and School-based Faculty

Partner

Role

Teacher candidate

 

 

The teacher candidate:

  • Uses the reflective cycle of practice, review, discuss, and reflect with planning, teaching, and managing the classroom.
  • Analyses and critiques videos of their teaching and that of other teacher candidates.
  • Conferences with mentor teacher and university supervisor
  • Completes the Student Teacher Work Sample during the clinical experience: gathering contextual information about the learners in the classroom, planning a pre-assessment, pre-testing the students, analyzing the data, providing appropriate learning experiences for the students, post-testing, analyzing the results, and making instructional decisions based on the data to help all students learn. The data from the Student Teacher Work Sample is entered into LiveText to be analyzed to identify improvements needed for the program.
  • Completes the Self-Assessment Survey to provide information about their learning and proficiency levels on elements aligned with the unit’s conceptual framework and the GA Professional and Program Standards. The data from the self-assessment is entered into LiveText to be analyzed to identify improvements needed for the program.
  • Completes the E-folio during the clinical experience, providing knowledge, student work, and reflections on all elements of the unit’s conceptual framework.  The data from the E-folio Assessment is entered into LiveText to be analyzed to identify improvements needed for the program.

University supervisors

The university supervisor:

  • The university supervisor serves as a liaison between the unit, the teacher candidate, the mentor teacher, the partner schools, and the partner school districts.  The university supervisor evaluates the teacher candidate during the clinical experience, confers with the mentor teacher to complete the Field Experience/Clinical Experience Mid-term/Final Summative Evaluation on teacher candidate’s performance, and enters this information into LiveText.  The university supervisor participates with the unit faculty to evaluate the teacher candidates’ dispositions at the end of each semester.

School-based faculty:

 

The mentor teacher:

  • Completes the Field Experience/Clinical Experience Formative Evaluation and the Field Experience/Clinical Experience Mid-term/Final Summative Evaluation to document teacher candidate’s performance in clinical practice experiences.  Both the formative and the summative evaluations use qualitative analytic rubrics to assure fairness and lack of bias.  This information is entered in LiveText for data analysis that indicates program improvements.
  •  Completes the Mentor Teacher Survey of the teacher candidate’s proficiencies at the end of the clinical experience.  This data is entered in LiveText for analysis that suggests program improvements.
  • Assists the teacher candidate with the Student Teacher Work Sample, providing guidance and information in the collection of contextual information and in the process of creating and evaluating assessments and assessment data. 
  • Mentor teachers confer with teacher candidates to provide constructive criticism, guidance, and support throughout the clinical practice experience.
  • Mentor teachers meet regularly with university supervisors throughout the semester to provide feedback on candidates’ performance and to document concerns as needed.

3c.2.      Describe how time for reflection and feedback from peers and clinical faculty will be incorporated into field experiences and clinical practice. 

The teacher candidate is provided extensive opportunities to engage in a reflective cycle of ‘plan, teach, reflect, and receive feedback’ during field experiences and clinical practice. The teacher candidate observes the mentor teacher and other teacher candidates throughout the field and clinical experiences using systematic observation instruments, reflects in journals, and discusses observations with those observed.  The teacher candidate uses video in order to view, critique, and reflect on specific aspects of their teaching and interaction with students.  Teacher candidates work with a partner to assist each other with the videotape assignments, providing feedback and critiques to encourage growth and confidence.  By analyzing videos of one’s teaching and that of peers and mentors, the teacher candidate identifies appropriate strategies, behaviors, and interactions with students.  Teacher candidate uses this reflective cycle throughout the field and clinical experiences to gain valuable insight into his/her teaching and to take advantage of the opportunities for continued growth that occur in the classroom. The mentor teacher conferences with the teacher candidate on a daily basis, using Systematic Observation Instruments, the Lesson Plan Format and Rubric, the  Field Experience/Student Teaching Formative Assessment, the Field Experience/Student Teaching Mid-term/Final Summative Assessment and reflective questioning to guide the teacher candidate in analysis of lessons taught. 

During the clinical experience, the mentor teacher provides guidance to the teacher candidate through the Student Teacher Work Sample, assisting with contextual information and interpreting student performance data.  Daily and weekly journal reflections about classroom experiences, observations of peers and mentors, and interactions with students, encourage growth and understanding of the art and science of teaching.

The university supervisor confers with the mentor teacher and the teacher candidate, and provides guidance for the teacher candidate through observations, feedback, and reflective questioning techniques.  Support for both the teacher candidate and the mentor teacher is offered by the university supervisor throughout the experience, providing encouragement and necessary critical feedback to help the teacher candidate grow and develop.

The seminar portion of the student teaching course allows for the sharing of experiences that promotes self-improvement and growth as a professional.  The seminar also provides the opportunity for teacher candidates to participate with colleagues in discussions of issues in education.

3c.3.      Describe how data from multiple assessments will provide evidence that candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions for helping all students learn in field experiences and clinical practice. 

The knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions of the teacher candidate are continually assessed at transition points throughout the program.  The fields are sequential with increased expectations and level of mastery expected with each successive field experience.  The field courses offer the teacher candidate the opportunity to put into practice the academic knowledge they are acquiring in methods courses.  It is in fields and clinical practice that the teacher candidate connects what they learn in academic courses with teaching PK-12 learners.  Student teaching provides a comprehensive and culminating clinical practice experience while continuing to focus on teacher candidate learning.  Mentor teachers and university supervisors use the key assessments with their respective qualitative analytic rubrics at each transition point to evaluate teacher candidate performance and progress. Key assessments are aligned with the unit’s conceptual framework and with GA Professional and Program Standards; each individual instrument specifically assesses the teacher candidate’s proficiency in content knowledge, professional and pedagogical skills, pedagogical content knowledge and skills, and dispositions.  The teacher candidate is assessed on the elements that require attention to differentiation and diversity in order to help all PK-12 students learn. The Target Behaviors for Diversity Key Assessments Table indicates target behaviors on key assessments that provide evidence that candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions for helping all students learn.  Data is aggregated and disaggregated to allow the unit to analyze the data for individual candidate performance, and to look across the program for trends and areas that need improvement as indicated by the data.  Professional Development Plans are designed collaboratively by the teacher candidate’s advisor and the university supervisor, with input from the mentor teacher, to address areas that need improvement.

3c.4.      Describe the proposed processes that will be used to ensure that candidates collect and analyze data on student learning, reflect on those data, and improve student learning during clinical practice. 

The teacher candidate must be aware of their students’ progress in order to effectively move them forward in their learning.  To this end, the unit provides frequent opportunities for the teacher candidate to analyze student learning, use assessment data to guide planning, and to provide remediation to increase student learning.  The clinical practice experience offers a comprehensive, documented opportunity for the teacher candidate to analyze and plan for improvement of student learning, the Student Teaching Work Sample.

 The teacher candidate completes the Student Teaching Work Sample during clinical practice and it is assessed using the Student Teaching Work Sample Assessment (STWS).  The STWS is a comprehensive, structured action research project aligned with the unit’s conceptual framework and GA Professional and Program Standards.  The STWS focuses the teacher candidate’s attention on student learning, requiring teacher candidates to align their goals and objectives with what they are teaching and with how they assess the learning. To familiarize themselves with their students’ educational needs, the teacher candidate gathers contextual information on relevant characteristics of the students in their classroom.  The teacher candidate creates an assessment plan including pre-assessments, plans for instruction, instruction and formative assessments, reteaching as needed, post-assessments, analysis of student data, and reflections suggesting further changes to increase their students’ learning.  The Student Work Sample offers an opportunity for teacher candidates to apply what they have learned in their coursework to their classroom, connecting academics with practice while under the supervision of their mentor teacher.

In addition to the Student Teaching Work Sample, the mentor teacher and university supervisor use the Field/Clinical Experiences Formative Evaluation and the Field Experiences/Clinical Experiences Midterm/Final Summative Assessment instruments to evaluate how well the teacher candidate uses assessment to guide their planning in their clinical experience.

3c.5.      Describe how the unit will ensure that all candidates have field experiences or clinical practice that includes students with exceptionalities and students from diverse ethnic/racial, Linguistic, gender, and socioeconomic groups. 

The unit partners with 41 schools from 12 school districts in Southwest Georgia to place teacher candidates in field and clinical experiences.  The Partner School Demographics table provides details regarding the wide diversity of student populations among the unit’s partner schools that ensure that the teacher candidate has broad and diverse field and clinical experiences. Of the 41 partner schools, 81% are identified as Title I schools.  The schools serve an average of 65% economically disadvantaged students, with 5 schools having an economically disadvantaged population of over 90%.   The African American population averages 42%, white 49%, Hispanic 7%, and Asian 1%.  The population of students with disabilities ranges from 6% - 37%.  In addition, the schools provide services for students through the Early Intervention Program, ESOL program, Migrant Student Program, and gifted programs. These diverse populations make for rich field and clinical placement opportunities for the unit’s teacher candidates. The unit works with its partner school districts to determine the placement settings that are most appropriate for teacher candidate development.

Along with the field experience classes, other selected courses have field components to ensure that the teacher candidate has the required placement experiences.  These include EDU316 Methods & Strategies, EDU 320 Exploring Diversity, EDU468 Exceptional Learners, and EDU 340 Assessment Strategies to Improve PK-12 Learning.  The unit and partners have determined the sequence of field course outcomes and specified schools deemed appropriate for field experiences as a result of student populations being sought.  The unit‘s planned sequential progression of field and clinical experiences, described in detail on the Early Childhood Education Program Field/Clinical Progression and the Middle Grades/ Middle Grades Education/ Post Baccalaureate and Secondary/Secondary Post Baccalaureate Program Field/Clinical Progression tables, is designed to provide the teacher candidate experiences with students with exceptionalities and students from diverse ethnic/racial, Linguistic, gender, and socioeconomic groups. 

 

 

 

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